TSA Week in Review - 39 Loaded Firearms and Other Items of Note Discovered This Week

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Friday, August 22, 2014
gun with bullets and clip

Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at HOU.

46 Firearms Discovered This Week - Of the 46 firearms, 39 were loaded and nine had rounds chambered.

Artfully Concealed Prohibited Items - It’s important to examine your bags prior to traveling to ensure you are not carrying prohibited items. If a prohibited item is discovered in your bag or on your body, you could be cited and possibly arrested by local law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where prohibited items were found by our officers in strange places.

  • A belt buckle knife was discovered at Saipan (GSN).
  • A comb knife was discovered in a carry-on bag at Albuquerque (ABQ).
  • One round of .25 caliber ammunition was detected concealed inside a walking cane at Norfolk (ORF).
  • A concealed razor blade was detected in a cell phone case at Dallas Fort Worth (DFW).
discovered belt buckle knife

Belt buckle knife discovered at GSN.

Inert Ordnance and Grenades etc. - We continue to find inert grenades and other weaponry on a weekly basis. Please keep in mind that if an item looks like a real bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited. When these items are found at a checkpoint or in checked baggage, they can cause significant delays because the explosives detection professionals must resolve the alarm to determine the level of threat. Even if they are novelty items, you cannot bring them on a plane. Read here on why inert items cause problems.

  • Two inert/replica grenades were detected in carry-on bags this week at Phoenix (PHX) and San Francisco (SFO).
discovered replica grenade

Replica grenade/hot sauce discovered at PHX

Miscellaneous Prohibited Items - In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our officers also regularly find firearm components, realistic replica firearms, bb and pellet guns, airsoft guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons and many other prohibited items too numerous to note.

discovered throwing knives and stars

Sword EWR, Throwing Stars (SJC), Throwing Knives (LGA)

discovered propane and model rocket engine

Propane (SAN), Model Rocket Engine (ILG) - (Both discovered in carry-on bags)

Stun Guns - 15 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation: Two were discovered at Phoenix (PHX), and the remainder were discovered at Albuquerque (ABQ), Atlanta (ATL), Branson (BBG), Casper (CPR), Denver (DEN), Houston Intercontinental (IAH), Las Vegas (LAS), Memphis (MEM), Mesa Gateway (IWA), Orange County (SNA), Portland (PWM), Sacramento (SMF), San Diego (SAN), and San Francisco (SFO).

Airsoft Gun - An airsoft gun was discovered this week in a carry-on bag at the Seattle (SEA) airport. Airsoft guns are prohibited in carry-on bags, but allowed in checked baggage. Airsoft grenades are not permitted in checked or carry-on bags. Read this post for more information: TSA Travel Tips Tuesday: Traveling with Airsoft Guns

Undeclared Firearms and Ammunition - Six undeclared 9mm firearms and a .40 caliber firearm were discovered improperly packed in a checked bag at San Diego (SAN). There were also 15 empty magazines, 200 rounds of 9mm ammo, 100 rounds of .40 caliber ammo, and a mix of 30 loose rounds discovered in the bag. Firearms and ammunition can be transported in checked baggage as long as they are declared and properly packed. You can read more about the firearm packing guidelines at TSA.gov.

discovered undeclared firearms

Undeclared Firearms In Checked Bag (SAN)

discovered loaded firearms

Loaded firearms discovered in carry-on bags: Top - Bottom / Left - Right: SAT, OKC, HOU, ATL, FLL, IND

Table for discovered firearms in carry-on bags list

*In order to provide a timely weekly update, this data is compiled from a preliminary report. The year-end numbers will vary slightly from what is reported in the weekly updates. However, any monthly, midyear or end-of-year numbers TSA provides on this blog or elsewhere will be actual numbers and not estimates.

You can travel with your firearms in checked baggage, but they must first be declared to the airline. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.

Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds. Sure, it’s great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the line is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested. The passenger can face a penalty as high as $7,500. This is a friendly reminder to please leave these items at home. Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions, that's for the law enforcement officer to decide. In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items.

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Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

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